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Stroke Rehabilitation - Medicines for Stroke Rehabilitation

After a stroke, you may need medicines to decrease pain, treat depression, or help speed your recovery. These may include:

  • Medicines for pain and depression after a stroke. Examples are:
  • Medicines for sleeping. After a stroke, you may have trouble sleeping (insomnia). Your doctor may prescribe different types of medicines to help you sleep, including the antidepressants trazodone and mirtazapine (Remeron), which have sedation as a side effect. Other sleep medicines, such as chloral hydrate, may be effective but have the potential for addiction.
  • Medicines for anxiety. Various medicines may be used to treat anxiety after a stroke. Benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam (Ativan, for example), are minor tranquilizers or sedatives that slow down the central nervous system. Alprazolam (Xanax, for example) and buspirone are antianxiety medicines that relieve anxiety and nervousness.
  • Medicines for agitation. Doctors use various types of medicines to treat agitation. Neuroleptics, such as haloperidol (Haldol, for example), risperidone (Risperdal, for example), and olanzapine (Zyprexa, for example), are antipsychotic medicines that work by changing the effects of brain chemicals. The anticonvulsant valproic acid (Depakote, for example) is sometimes used to treat agitation.
  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, for example) to improve attention span and help learning and memory. Experts are still researching the benefits and risks of this drug for people who have had a stroke.
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin, for example) to improve mood and speed recovery. This medicine is sometimes used for a short time in the first stages of rehab.

Also see the topic Spasticity.

Recommended Related to Stroke

Silent Stroke: What You Need to Know

Have you had a stroke? How could you tell? A stroke is a sudden stop of blood supply to part of the brain. Some people have strokes without ever knowing it. These so-called silent strokes either have no easy-to-recognize symptoms, or you don’t remember them. But they do cause permanent damage in your brain. If you've had more than one silent stroke, you may have thinking and memory problems. They can also lead to more severe strokes.

Read the Silent Stroke: What You Need to Know article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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